President Donald Trump made a surprise in-person appearance at the Republican National Convention on Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Trump took the stage in Charlotte after Republican state delegates nominated the president for re-election.
As the delegates cheered and chanted “Four more years!” Trump joked, “If you want to really drive them crazy you say: Twelve more years.”
Trump said he was determined to appear at the convention after the roll call was completed.
“What’s more important than the roll call?” Trump asked. “You’re the ones calling it.”
Trump criticized CNN and other networks for failing to air the convention roll call, choosing instead to focus on a “sham” Democrat hearing on the postal service. He criticized Fox News for running talking heads speaking over the delegates.
“I want to hear what they’re saying, the delegates,” he said. “I want to hear what they’re saying, so I think we had to switch over to C-SPAN…”
The president thanked Republican delegates for gathering in North Carolina despite their governor being in a “total shutdown mood.”
He mocked Democrats for abandoning their convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and said he was determined to keep the Charlotte, NC, convention site open and even make an appearance.
“We did this out of respect for your state,” he said. “We didn’t do this for any other reason than respect for the state of North Carolina.”
Trump also warned about Democrats’ dramatic push for mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that it would open up the election to fraud.
“What they’re doing is using COVID to steal an election, they’re using COVID to defraud the American people, all of our people of a fair and free election,” he said.
But Trump indicated he was positive that Republicans would do well in 2020.
“We’re gonna win this election,” he said. “The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election.”